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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2012, 10:19 PM
jballew jballew is offline
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Steering Locked please help

Hi everyone I'm new to the forum... sorry if this isn't in the right spot.

I know this is well discussed topic but I searched and found nothing applicable.

So, My Steering is locked & key wont turn at ALL. I tried & tried to get it to release but no luck. I tore apart the steering column cover to expose everything. I'm pretty sure something in the lock cylinder is screwed up and isn't releasing the wheel. I can turn the car on by using a screw driver to turn that module behind the cylinder. So I know its gotta be the cylinder..right, cause its not turning. My thought was just to release that lock pin but its not there! just smooth metal.. so I have no idea how to release the wheel. Can't find anything on Google about e30s without that pin

Please help the car is just sitting in a lot... and I really don't want to have pay to tow it.

btw... 1991 325ix with airbag
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:47 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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all later E30s do have that pin irrespective of sub model.

try turning the steering wheel one way or the other as you turn the barrel with the key.

particularly is the front wheels are not straight, the car will lean over on one side and rock the steering wheel to that side, locking the draw pin. it can also happen is someone (ie a car thief but more likely you as you got out the vehicle) has moved the steering wheel while entering or exiting the car and moved the wheel round for the lock pin to engauge.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:16 AM
jballew jballew is offline
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So is the pin in another location? the wheels are straight, trust me I tried for hours to get it unlocked by turning the wheel and key.... I'm just really stumped right now. I can't find any solution that dosen't
involve completely destroying it... its my daily driver so I kinda need it to work again

thanks
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:43 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Unbolt the whole steering column with the mechanical part of the lock. You will need to cut grooves in the 'head-snap-bolts' to turn them after you release them with a small chisel. Easier than it reads, I've done it. Bollts can be replaced with Allen cap head type. Once it is out you can engineer the release of the unit and repair as required.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:16 PM
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i have never found a solution without having the key on hand so i cant really offer definitive advice.

but assuming your vechile is a non-airbag model and has the standard 4 spoke wheel, take a flat blade to the BMW badge in the middle and pop that out, and loosen (but not remove) the 23mm nut behind it. may offer a bit more movement
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2012, 10:19 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Steering wheel retaining nut is 22mm. Loosening the wheel won't help getting the column unlocked. Removing it will, because you're going to have to do what Father Figure said and unbolt the column to access the tumbler and column lock mechanism. To do that you have to remove the wheel, the turn, wiper and cruise control switches and the security screws. I've been through this now with an E24, an E30 and an E36. All are differently arranged, but all have those blasted security screws to contend with. A Dremel with a cutoff wheel works great for putting screwdriver slots in the head of those screws. Fortunately they won't be very tight.
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Last edited by hornhospital; 12-15-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2012, 10:56 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Steering wheel retaining nut is 22mm. Loosening the wheel won't help getting the column unlocked. Removing it will, because you're going to have to do what Father Figure said and unbolt the column to access the tumbler and column lock mechanism. To do that you have to remove the wheel, the turn, wiper and cruise control switches and the security screws. I've been through this now with an E24, an E30 and an E36. All are differently arranged, but all have those blasted security screws to contend with. A Dremel with a cutoff wheel works great for putting screwdriver slots in the head of those screws. Fortunately they won't be very tight.
to do that you have to remove the wheel, thus solving the problem anyways. It is not easy to drop the steering column in an E30 and very ass about face way to do it. it usually has pins that are tack welded in from memory.
would be easier to just take a hammer drill to the barrel and drill it out. your going to do that if you drop the colum anyway

im also 100% sure its a 23mm nut for the steering wheel, because i had to buy a socket for it about 3 weeks ago when i left my ratchet extension and 23mm socket in a junk yard, of course gone when i realised and went back for it
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:44 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Having had to bugger about with this problem recently - although it is a pain get the column out. It's far quicker to refit and makes the middle bit (the actual repair) soooooooooooooo much easier!
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2012, 08:31 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ethrty-Andy_ View Post
im also 100% sure its a 23mm nut for the steering wheel, because i had to buy a socket for it about 3 weeks ago when i left my ratchet extension and 23mm socket in a junk yard, of course gone when i realised and went back for it
Maybe the NZ version is different? All I know is, I have two E30s, two E24s, and two E36s. ALL of them have 22mm nuts holding the steering wheels on. I don't even own a 23mm socket or wrench.
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2012, 08:38 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Maybe the NZ version is different? All I know is, I have two E30s, two E24s, and two E36s. ALL of them have 22mm nuts holding the steering wheels on. I don't even own a 23mm socket or wrench.
meh, might be a euro thing. i might have to send a box of 23mm nuts over, US kids go crazy for euro stuff my socket set along with my other gear is at my lockup not on hand so i cant check for sure
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